The Main Building and the Statue of Premier Zhou: the majesty of Nankai University
Because of the expansion of enrollment in 1959, Nankai University was in urgent need of new classrooms. At that time, only the low-lying land between the third and fourth teaching building had been filled and ready for construction. So, this became the location of the Main Building. The Main Building has 11 floors in the middle and then was reduced symmetrically to a 6-floor part and a 4-floor part on both sides. It consists of all kinds of administrative offices, colleges of art, all sizes of classrooms available for 25 to 200 students to take classes, and a small hall which could accommodate 500 people. It covers an area of 18,200 m2. Besides, a new gate was built at that time in front of the Main Building, facing the street outside and showing the new look of Nankai University.
The Main Building
The Main Building is really a landmark of Nankai University. It is also a typical Soviet building which is not only simple and bright, but humble and pragmatic. Characterized by axial symmetry, the ivory-yellow building is heightened gradually from both sides to the middle, just like walking up stairs. The interior structure and decoration is typically western. The dominant hue inside is blue grey, which is bright and elegant. When entering the Main Building, people feel refreshed as if they are entering the tower of ivory. After its completion in 1963, the Main Building was partly destroyed in the Tangshan Earthquake of 1976. However, the brick structure of the seventh and upper floors wasn’t shattered by the earthquake, especially the eight large classrooms in the 4-floor part on both sides remained intact. After some repair and reinforcement, the Main Building totally recovered from the damage.
Mr. Zhou Enlai is an outstanding alumnus of Nankai University and an admirable premier of China. Carved in white marble, the statue of Premier Zhou stands upright in the southern square of the Main Building. The statue is three meters high, standing on a two-meter-high stone base. It is a masterpiece of two famous sculptors in China, Mr. Fu Tianchou and Mr. Gu Jiarui. In the front of the stone base is the famous motto of “I Love Nankai University”. As for the back, there is an inscription about the biography of Premier Zhou and the reason for this construction. It was the real handwriting of Mr. Fan Zeng, a master of Chinese painting and calligraphy. The Premier Zhou on the stone base, facing towards the South Gate, is really imposing in a Chinese tunic suit. He stands right in the center of the square with his typical pose – the left hand on his waist, the right hand slightly bent and the body leaning a little to the right. Serenely, he is overlooking to the distance in the south, as if he is looking at the bright future of Nankai University. The statue of Premier Zhou was completed on October 17 1989, the 70th anniversary of Nankai University.